Tyrone library survey written to get pre-determined outcome

Tue, 10/18/2005 - 4:57pm
By: Letters to the ...

I’m saddened by the continued use of the town of Tyrone’s survey, re: the library in articles in your newspaper. Even a cursory examination of the instrument revealed it to be fatally flawed, and flawed by design.

Surveys are (at least in theory) to be fairly designed so that the actual opinion of a group of individuals can be measured. The bias of the author of this survey was apparent.

I’ve designed surveys in the past, and I haven’t yet seen a more one-sided single purpose, ‘get the results you want” survey yet.

The only reason that flawed instrument didn’t produce results in the 60-75 percent range in favor of the park must be that the majority of the citizens of Tyrone could see through the flaws and vote their convictions.

In analyzing the results (yes, you can analyze results even if the instrument is flawed) show that the real majority of the first place votes cast are for somewhere else. Presenting the 251 votes for Shamrock Park without stating that fact is misleading your readers.

Let’s just move on and build the library. If the Lower Shamrock Park is the final location chosen, then so be it. I personally favor that location over any in the survey.

My ultimate choice would be to leave it where it is: build it across the street from Tyrone Elementary where it could be used by the students. Construct a new municipal complex including Public Safety in the location of the current police station.

While constructing the new facilities, the town and police offices could be placed in a trailer or other temporary structure. Town meetings would be held in the school cafeteria.

Move the tennis and basketball courts down by the Recreation Center on the 11 acres proposed for the library, and reconstruct upper Shamrock Park as greenspace.

Pay for all of this with a bond issue to revitalize downtown. Pay off the bond issue with impact fees and tax dollars. Tyrone is growing and can afford it.

Gordon Shenkle
Tyrone, Ga.

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